contains three separate genomes: the nuclear genome, consisting of at
least 14 chromosomes, the mitochondrial genome, and the
apicoplast. The nuclear genome is haploid and consists of ~65 mB of
DNA, organized into
14 distinct chromosomes.
The mitochondrial genome is not well studied, but based on analogy to Plasmodium, it
may consist of a tandem repeat
(Joseph et al. 1989). The apicoplast is a vestigal
endosymbiont (Maréchal and Cesbron-Delauw 2001) containing a stream-lined
35 kb circular genome.
Many genes formerly encoded on the apicoplast have been transferred into the
nucleus (Foth et al. 2003). Genetic studies in Plasmodium
have shown that the mitochondrion
(Creasey et al.
1993), and likely the
apicoplast, are inherited unipartentally during sexual crosses.